Board of Directors


Board of Directors


BRIAN PITTENGER
President

Brian Pittenger is a Finance MBA with 25 years’ leadership experience in industries such as Retail, Wholesale, Banking and Healthcare.   He is currently an independent Management Consultant working throughout the Twin Cities area.   His first book, The Money Button, was published in 2018 and focuses on teaching leaders how to drive new ideas and new innovation in complex organizations.   His wife, Pam, was an educator at Groves Academy in the early 2000’s and the family’s passion to support education and literacy still burns strong.   He has been a Board Member for IDA-UMB since 2015.

 


OPEN
Treasurer

Candidates for Treasurer are being reviewed.

 


JENNIFER BENNETT
Secretary

Jennifer Bennett, M.S., is a Licensed Psychologist who focuses her work on neuropsychological and educational assessment, including diagnostic testing for dyslexia.  At BrainWorks, P.A., her private practice, she conducts comprehensive evaluations with people ages 5-100 who are experiencing difficulties related to learning, information processing, and cognitive development. In addition to dyslexia, Jennifer’s areas of expertise include dysgraphia, dyscalculia, attention disorders, nonverbal LD, auditory processing difficulties, Autism Spectrum Disorders including Asperger’s Syndrome, and other neuropsychological concerns that affect thinking, learning, and communication. Jennifer attended Gustavus Adolphus College for her undergraduate studies and then moved on to North Dakota State University, where she earned her graduate degree in Clinical Psychology. Since obtaining her professional license in 1995, she has provided psychological assessment services at the University of Minnesota Medical School Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (both inpatient and outpatient settings), Learning and Language Specialists, and now at BrainWorks, P.A. She has been on the Board of Directors for the IDA Upper Midwest Branch since January 2014.

 


JENNIFER TEPLEY

Member at Large

Jennifer Tepley has been a career educator, mother, volunteer, and vocal advocate of social, human, and women’s rights. Born in Gibbon, Minnesota, and the youngest of four sisters, Jennifer’s proud roots were as an adventurous small town farm girl. As she grew older, she realized a passion for educating and for equal rights for women and all human beings. In 1970, as a teacher in health and physical education, she instituted the first women’s athletic program in Hastings, Minnesota. She later ended her teaching career working with adults to obtain their GED’s and diplomas in addition to teaching English as a Second Language (ESL). As a mother, Jennifer dealt with raising a young daughter diagnosed at an early age with auditory dyslexia, and was instrumental in researching and executing effective solutions to dealing with the ailment. She now resides in Chaska, Minnesota with her husband, David, and is actively involved in local volunteer and social programming that align with her passion for human right.   She has been a Board Member of IDA since 2018.

 


ALISSA HENRICKSEN
Member at Large

Alissa Henriksen is the Co-owner and Founder of Grey Search + Strategy, an executive recruiting company headquartered in the Minneapolis area.  She was diagnosed with auditory dyslexia as a 7 year old and with support, tutoring, and hard work she was able to conquer every obstacle that was supposed to hold her back from ever getting a job, living on her own, speaking a second language, and just having the confidence to independent and have success!   Alissa has been a Board Member for IDA-UMB since 2017.

 


DONNA JOHNSON
Member at Large

Dr. Donna M. Johnson is an assistant professor of education at Dakota Wesleyan University in Mitchell, South Dakota. She loves reading and learning and is zealous about introducing both children and university students to the world of books and the pursuit of knowledge. Her undergraduate degree in elementary education is from Southwest Minnesota State University in Marshall, Minnesota. While earning her master’s degree in special education at Minnesota State University Mankato, she was trained in Orton-Gillingham and has used (and continues to use) this method to instruct many emergent and struggling readers. Her educational doctorate is from the University of South Dakota. During her 40-year career, Dr. Johnson has taught in public and private K-12 schools in Minnesota and South Dakota in both special and general education classrooms. She also homeschooled her three daughters. Dr. Johnson has presented at state and national conferences for the Council of Learning Disabilities (CLD), the Learning Disabilities Association (LDA), and the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC). Before joining the board of IDA Upper Midwest Branch, she served on the board of the South Dakota Learning Disabilities Association and, with her husband, on the board of the Minnesota Association of Christian Home Educators and the Hillsdale College Parents Board. Besides reading, her interests include travel, baking, and antiques.

 


JEANNE DANNEKER
Member at Large

 


SHELLY BAYER
Member at Large

 


NANCY SEGRETI
Member at Large

 


SARAH CARLSON-WALLRATH
Member at Large

 


SAM THORSON
Member at Large

 


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